A transgender man from Wisconsin has made history by becoming the first known person to give birth to a child both before and after transitioning.
Kaci Sullivan gave birth to his second child Phoenix early last month. “The moment the baby came out and I got to hear them cry was indescribable," he told the Daily Mail.
"It’s incredible to think that I had made this little human. After 26 weeks of morning sickness and seven days in labour it was such a beautiful moment.”
He and his partner Steven had been trying for a baby after Kaci had chosen to take a break from male hormones for health reasons. He fell pregnant within 6 months of stopping hormone treatment.
Kaci gave birth to his first child, Grayson, with his ex-husband in 2011. This was prior to Kaci coming out as transgender - which makes Kaci the first known person to experience giving birth at both ends of the experience of transitioning.
He told the Daily Mail that being pregnant while presenting as a woman was an awful experience for him: “I prayed to connect with womanhood, to identify with what was happening to my body, but I couldn’t. I felt so hopeless and lost. I wanted to die. I fell into such a dark place and I was terrified to bring a baby into that darkness with me.
“But the moment they put him in my arms it was bliss. Immediately I loved him like I had never loved anything or anyone and I felt such a surge of duty to him.”
So, only three months after giving birth to Grayson, Kaci came out as transgender. He and his ex-husband divorced, and he met Steven in 2014.
Kaci explained that while navigating pregnancy as a trans man brings its own unique issues, his second pregnancy was ultimately a far more comfortable and enriching experience.
The 30-year-old chose to document his week-to-week experiences of pregnancy and labour as a transgender man on his YouTube channel, titled 'My Transgender Pregnancy'.
"As my bump grew bigger and bigger I got nervous going out in public because people would stare. They noticed my abnormal shape.
“There was a lot of anxiety but the most important thing for me was sending the message that pregnancy is not a gendered thing.”
Kaci and Steven also said that they would be raising their child without conventional binary gender ideals (for example, pink clothes for girls, and blue clothes for boys).
The new parents will instead give their child gender-neutral clothing and a wide variety of toys, so they can “express themselves in the way that feels right”.